Quotations of Wisdom

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Václav Havel

Let us teach ourselves and others that politics should be an expression of a desire to contribute to the happiness of the community rather than of a need to cheat or rape the community. [Q1793]

Senator Paul Simon

However, those who kill have been stimulated by others who preach fanaticism. Religious leaders who advocate with excessive zealotry share the guilt with the murderers who wield the knives and pull the triggers. [Q1704]

Katherine Anne Porter

Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. [Q524]

Hesiod

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint — 8th Century BC [Q1389]

David Hume

Belief is nothing but a more vivid, lively, forcible, firm, steady conception of an object, than what the imagination alone is ever able to attain. [Q1355]

Marshall McLuhan

I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it. [Q1460]

Stephen Jay Gould

Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview - nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty. [Q1807]

Aristotle

Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions. [Q850]

Scott Nesler

The best argument of an average individual is better than the average argument of the best op-ed journalist. [Q187]

Noam Chomsky

To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public. [Q162]

Tracy Chapman

You can look to the stars in search of the answers. Look for God and life on distant planets. Have your faith in the ever after. While each of us holds inside the map to the labyrinth. And heaven's here on earth. — From the lyrics of "Heaven's Here on Earth, Album New Beginning" [Q1492]

Margaret Sanger

No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. [Q1668]

Margaret Mead

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. [Q1415]

Mohandas Gandhi

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding. [Q558]

Albert Einstein

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. [Q552]

John Steinbeck

What a frightening thing is the human, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, and we can only read a few and those perhaps not accurately. &ndash The Winter of Our Discontent [Q2017]

Erwin Schrödinger

The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist. [Q1437]

Herbert Simon

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. [Q641]

Senator Paul Simon

With flawed understanding, I try to reach reality in religion. But I know my understanding is flawed, and that helps to avoid excessively dogmatic assertions. [Q1696]

Dr. Zaius

I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself. [Q1602]

Aristotle

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. [Q865]

George Carlin

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. [Q5]

Jeremy Taylor

It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance, for it requires knowledge to perceive it; and, therefore, he that can perceive it hath it not. [Q718]

Hesiod

Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor. [Q451]

Epictetus

Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. [Q812]

St. Francis of Assisi

It was easy to love God in all that was beautiful. The lessons of deeper knowledge, though, instructed me to embrace God in all things. [Q2036]

Master Kan

To suppress a truth is to give it force beyond endurance. [Q521]

Dalai Lama

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness. [Q543]

Isaac Newton

We build too many walls and not enough bridges. [Q602]

Scott Nesler

It's a fact that facts are misused. [Q52]

Blaise Pascal

Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them. [Q586]

Caine and Master Kan

Master, do we seek victory in contention? Seek rather not to contend. But shall we not then be defeated? We know that where there is no contention, there is neither defeat nor victory. The supple willow does not contend against the storm, yet it survives. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q518]

Friedrich Hayek

If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this. [Q1975]

Plato

Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal. [Q880]

Herbert Simon

The world is vast, beautiful, and fascinating, even awe-inspiring - but impersonal. It demands nothing of me, and allows me to demand nothing of it. [Q650]

Konrad Lorenz

Every man gets a narrower and narrower field of knowledge in which he must be an expert in order to compete with other people. The specialist knows more and more about less and less and finally knows everything about nothing. [Q1430]

The Holy Bible

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? — James 2:14-20 [Q1612]

Thor Heyerdahl

In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds. [Q1536]

Ward Cunningham

I can’t tell you how much time is spent worrying about decisions that don’t matter. To just be able to make a decision and see what happens is tremendously empowering, but that means you have to set up the situation such that when something does go wrong, you can fix it. [Q1006]

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of it scientists, and the hopes of its children. [Q1219]

Senator Paul Simon

In February 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans living in California, Oregon, and Washington, none of whom had committed a crime, from their home. They had from one to three days to sell all of their property and put all their possessions into one suitcase before the federal government sent them to camps in Idaho and other inland states ... While the action of our government cannot be compared to Hitler's Holocaust, it is illustration of the reality that the passion of a nation can be aroused against a minority if leadership is irresponsible ... There needs to be restraining voices defending the rights of minorities or those expressing unpopular views. [Q1715]

Senator Paul Simon

We gain from listening to others, not that we accept all assertions of truth as equally valid. [Q1702]

Nassau William Senior

The time I trust will come, perhaps within the lives of some of us, when the outline of this science will be clearly made out and generally recognized, when its nomenclature will be fixed, and its principles form a part of elementary instruction. [Q245]

Adlai Stevenson

Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for. [Q1650]

Scott Nesler

Certainty needs not faith, doubt has faith of mistakes. [Q48]

Senator Paul Simon

Elijah Lovejoy's Speech

I feel, Mr. Chairman, that this is the most solemn moment of my life. I feel, I trust, in some measure the responsibilities which at this hour I sustain to these, my fellow-citizens, to the Church of which I am a minister, to my country, and to God. And let me beg of you, before I proceed further, to construe nothing I shall say as being disrespectful to this assembly. I have no such feeling; far from it. And if I do not act or speak according to their wishes at all times, it is because I cannot conscientiously do it.

It is proper I should state the whole matter, as I understand it, before this audience. I do not stand here to argue the question, as presented by the report of the committee. My only wonder is that the honourable gentleman, the chairman of that committee, for whose character I entertain great respect, though I have not the pleasure of his personal acquaintance—my only wonder is how that gentleman could have brought himself to submit such a report.

Mr. Chairman, I do not admit that it is the business of this assembly to decide whether I shall or shall not publish a newspaper in this city. The gentlemen have, as the lawyers say, made a wrong issue. I have the right to do it. I know that I have the right freely to speak and publish my sentiments, subject only to the laws of the land for the abuse of that right. This right was given me by my Maker; and is solemnly guaranteed to me by the constitution of these United States, and of this State. What I wish to know of you is, whether you will protect me in the exercise of this right; or whether, as heretofore, I am to be subjected to personal indignity and outrage. These resolutions, and the measures proposed by them, are spoken of as a compromise—a compromise between two parties. Mr. Chairman, this is not so. There is but one party here. It is simply a question whether the law shall be enforced, or whether the mob shall be allowed, as they now do, to continue to trample it under their feet, by violating with impunity the rights of an innocent individual.

Mr. Chairman, what have I to compromise? If freely to forgive those who have so greatly injured me, if to pray for their temporal and eternal happiness, if still to wish for the prosperity of your city and State, notwithstanding all the indignities I have suffered in it—if this be the compromise intended, then do I willingly make it. My rights have been shamefully, wickedly outraged; this I know, and feel, and can never forget. But I can and do freely forgive those who have done it. But if by a compromise is meant that I should cease from doing that which duty requires of me, I cannot make it. And the reason is, that I fear God more than I fear man. Think not that I would lightly go contrary to public sentiment around me. The good opinion of my fellow-men is dear to me, and I would sacrifice anything but principle to obtain their good wishes; but when they ask me to surrender this, they ask for more than I can, than I dare give. Reference is made to the fact that I offered a few days since to give up the editorship of the Observer into other hands. This is true; I did so because it was thought or said by some that perhaps the paper would be better patronised in other hands. They declined accepting my offer, however, and since then we have heard from the friends and supporters of the paper in all parts of the State. There was but one sentiment among them, and this was, that the paper could be sustained in no other hands than mine. It is also a very different question, whether I shall voluntarily, or at the request of friends, yield up my post, or whether I shall forsake it at the demand of a mob. The former I am at all times ready to do, when circumstances occur to require it, as I will never put my personal wishes or interests in competition with the cause of that Master whose minister I am. But the latter, be assured, I NEVER will do. God, in his providence, so say all my brethren, and so I think, has devolved upon me the responsibility of maintaining my ground here; and, Mr. Chairman, I am determined to do it. A voice comes to me from Maine, from Massachusetts, from Connecticut, from New York, from Pennsylvania—yea, from Kentucky, from Mississippi, from Missouri—calling upon me, in the name of all that is dear in heaven or earth, to stand fast; and by the help of God, I WILL STAND. I know I am but one, and you are many. My strength would avail but little against you all. You can crush me, if you will; but I shall die at my post, for I cannot and will not forsake it.

Why should I flee from Alton? Is not this a free State? When assailed by a mob at St. Louis, I came hither, as to the home of freedom and of the laws. The mob has pursued me here, and why should I retreat again? Where can I be safe, if not here? Have not I a right to claim the protection of the laws? What more can I have in any other place? Sir, the very act of retreating will embolden the mob to follow me wherever I go. No, sir, there is no way to escape the mob but to abandon the path of duty, and that, God helping me, I will never do.

It has been said here that my hand is against every man, and every man's hand against me. The last part of the declaration is too painfully true. I do indeed find almost every hand lifted against me; but against whom, in this place, has my hand been raised? I appeal to every individual present; whom of you have I injured? Whose character have I traduced? Whose family have I molested? Whose business have I meddled with? If any, let him rise here and testify against me. [No one answers]

And do not your resolutions say that you find nothing against my private or personal character? And does any one believe that, if there was anything to be found, it would not be found and brought forth? If in anything I have offended against the law, I am not so popular in this community as that it would be difficult to convict me. You have courts, and judges, and juries; they find nothing against me. And now you come together for the purpose of driving out a confessedly innocent man, for no cause but that he dares to think and speak as his conscience and his God dictate. Will conduct like this stand the scrutiny of your country, of posterity, above all, of the judgment-day? For remember, the Judge of that day is no respecter of persons. Pause, I beseech you, and reflect! the present excitement will soon be over; the voice of conscience will at last be heard. And in some season of honest thought, even in this world, as you review the scenes of this hour, you will be compelled to say, `He was right; he was right!'

But you have been exhorted to be lenient and compassionate, and in driving me away to affix no unnecessary disgrace upon me. Sir, I reject all such compassion. You cannot disgrace me. Scandal, and falsehood, and calumny have already done their worst. My shoulders have borne the burden till it sits easy upon them. You may hang me up as the mob hung up the individuals of Vicksburg! You may burn me at the stake, as they did McIntosh at St. Louis, or you may tar and feather me, or throw me into the Mississippi, as you have often threatened to do; but you cannot disgrace me. I, and I alone, can disgrace myself; and the deepest of all disgrace would be, at a time like this, to deny my Master by forsaking his cause. He died for me, and I were most unworthy to bear his name should I refuse, if need be, to die for him!

Again, you have been told that I have a family, who are dependent on me, and this has been given as a reason why I should be driven off as gently as possible. It is true, Mr. Chairman, I am a husband and a father; and this it is that adds the bitterest ingredient to the cup of sorrow I am called to drink. I am made to feel the wisdom of the Apostle's advice, `It is better not to marry.' I know sir, that in this contest I stake not my life only, but that of others also. I do not expect my wife will ever recover the shock received at the awful scenes through which she was called to pass at St. Charles. And how was it the other night on my return to my house? I found her driven to the garret, through fear of the mob, who were prowling round my house; and scarcely had I entered the house ere my windows were broken in by the brickbats of the mob, and she so alarmed that it was impossible for her to sleep or rest that night. I am hunted as a partridge upon the mountains; I am pursued as a felon through your streets; and to the guardian power of the law I look in vain for that protection against violence which even the vilest criminal may claim.

Yet think not that I am unhappy. Think not that I regret the choice that I have made. While all around me is violence and tumult, all is peace within. An approving conscience and the rewarding smile of God is a full recompense for all that I forego and all that I endure. Yes, sir, I enjoy a peace which nothing can destroy. I sleep sweetly and undisturbed, except when awaked by the brickbats of the mob.

No, sir, I am not unhappy. I have counted the cost and stand prepared freely to offer up my all in the service of God. Yes, sir, I am fully aware of all the sacrifices I make in here pledging myself to continue this contest to the last. (Forgive these tears—I had not intended to shed them, and they flow not for myself, but others.) But I am commanded to forsake father, and mother, and wife, and children for Jesus' sake; and as his professed disciple I stand prepared to do it. The time for fulfilling this pledge in my case, it seems to me, has come. Sir, I dare not flee away from Alton. Should I attempt it, I should feel that the angel of the Lord, with his flaming sword, was pursuing me wherever I went. It is because I fear God that I am not afraid of all who oppose me in this city. No, sir, the contest has commenced here, and here it must be finished. Before God and you all, I here pledge myself to continue it, if need be, till death. If I fall, my grave shall be made in Alton.

[Q1888]

William James Durant

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. [Q1554]

Marshall McLuhan

All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values. [Q1448]

Richard P. Feynman

I'll never make that mistake again, reading the experts' opinions. Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that's the end of you. [Q978]

Edward de Bono

I suspect that the ideas put forward in this book will be received with rage and outrage. Ideas such as these can be expressed only in book form. That is one of the key justifications for the continued existence of books and a justification for reading. But the guardians of culture are language-based. Any book has to pass through the 'literary' gateway. Since much of this book questions the sufficiency of our traditional language-based argument and logic, I do not expect very objective response. So readers will need to come to their own conclusions.

Cybernecticians, mathematicians, and information scientist will have much less trouble with the book than those with a 'literary' or 'legalistic' frame of mind. People in business and those involved in doing things (as distinct from describing things) will also see the need for 'operacy' and for constructive and creative thinking. There are also many who have always felt that 'design' is as important as 'analysis'.

(from the book, I am Right, you are Wrong. page 31). [Q2006]

Marshall McLuhan

Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam. [Q1473]

Alan Alda

Flatow: What was it like playing Richard Feynman? Alda: It was just great, because you couldn't get to the bottom of who he was. He is so many people in one. A friend of mine who is a mathematician, Steve Shrogets, said the central image for him is his idea that a particle takes every possible path, and then most of them cancel themselves out except for the path you observe. — From Science Friday, March 23, 2012 [Q1920]

Edward B Titchener

Empathy [Q2048]

Meister Eckhart

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. [Q1627]

Meister Eckhart

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there. [Q1623]

John F Kennedy

So, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. [Q2064]

Marshall McLuhan

The printing press was at first mistaken for an engine of immortality by everybody except Shakespeare. [Q1481]

Senator Paul Simon

There are times when decisions may be difficult and when there may be no reasons to take a position. But there are also times, like this one, when to be neutral in a fight between right and wrong is to be on the side of the wrong. — (In Reference to the mob murder of Elijia Lovejoy) [Q1892]

Plato

Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation. [Q875]

Plutarch

We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away. [Q791]

William Bernbach

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. [Q1957]

Isaac Asimov

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. [Q701]

Steven Spielberg

We have to realize that people are not born with hatred. They acquire it. We have the responsibility to listen to the voices of history so that future generations never forget what so few lived to tell! [Q1221]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

I have sworn eternal opposition to slavery, and by the blessing of God I will never turn back. [Q2050]

Freeman Dyson

If we had a reliable way to label our toys good and bad, it would be easy to regulate technology wisely. But we can rarely see far enough ahead to know which road leads to damnation. Whoever concerns himself with big technology, either to push it forward or to stop it, is gambling in human lives. [Q1916]

Theodore C. Sorensen

We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might. [Q2021]

Miles Davis

Do not fear mistakes. There are none. [Q2055]

Epictetus

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. [Q829]

Epictetus

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. [Q810]

Albert Einstein

Any fool can know. The point is to understand. [Q396]

The Beatles

Life is very short, and there's no time, for fussing and fighting, my friend. — We Can Work It Out [Q1373]

Václav Havel

Hope is a feeling that life and work have meaning. You either have it or you don't, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you. [Q1743]

Sim Van der Ryn

The best design experience occur when no one can claim credit for the solution – when the solution grows and evolves organically out a particular situation, process, and pattern of communication. [Q345]

Caine

I seek not to know all the answers but to understand the questions. — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 - Episode # 14 [Q528]

Adlai Stevenson

An Independent is someone who wants to take the politics out of politics. [Q1645]

Uncle Tom's Cabin

The capitalist and aristocrat of England cannot feel that as we do, be­cause they do not mingle with the class they degrade as we do. — Page 151 [Q1899]

Theodore Roosevelt

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public. [Q1289]

Edward de Bono

There can be no truth in the media and in this respect the media model for perception. There is no truth in perception. It is always from a point of view. It is never complete.

Understanding perception has a very high practical value because it covers most of our thinking outside technical areas. The above comment on the media is one example. We should never expect the media to be objective because perception does not work that way.

The only truth in perception is the 'truth' of belief systems. As we shall see, beliefs arise very easily from circularity phenomenon in the underlying system. As we understand how beliefs arise and how they are sustained we can see why logical arguments will not touch beliefs, prejudices, and faulty perceptions. this is of great practical value, since various belief systems are a major component of human affairs.

(From the book, I am right, you are wrong. Pg 46-47) [Q2012]

Oscar Wilde

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason. [Q287]

Winston Smith

A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact. — George Orwell's 1984 [Q297]

Marie Curie

I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries. [Q327]

Lenny Bruce

If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses. [Q333]

Genghis Khan

It is not sufficient that I succeed - all others must fail. (The antithesis of the Do Good Gauge) [Q141]

L. Peter Deutsch

To iterate is human, to recurse divine. [Q676]

Elbert Hubbart

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you. [Q1385]

Barbara Deming

We believe, in fact, that the one act of respect has little force unless matched by the other, in balance with it. The acting out of that dual respect I would name as precisely the source of our power. [Q1394]

Dennis Kucinich

This is a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, which in too many cases has become so corporate and identified with corporate interests that you can't tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans. [Q1598]

Charles Darwin

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. [Q698]

Virgil

Your descendants shall gather your fruits. [Q1593]

Senator Paul Simon

I am a partisan Democrat, proud of my party affiliation, but I also recognize that most problems are "nuts and bolts" problems that require people to sit down and work together for reasonable solutions. Occasionally a question of political philosophy surfaces, but not too frequently. [Q1823]

Hippocrates

It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has. [Q1029]

Václav Havel

The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning - in other words, of absurdity - the more energetically meaning is sought. [Q1753]

Plutarch

Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them. [Q781]

Noam Chomsky

Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists. [Q163]

Marie Curie

There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth. [Q331]

Senator Paul Simon

Time is the most valuable gift any of us has been given, other than good health, I tell my student, use it ... to help others. I try to do that.

I am grateful to you as a reader for taking your valuable time to follow this personal journey, which continues. I wish you well in your journey

[Q1832]

Marshall McLuhan

The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers. [Q1478]

Clarence Darrow

Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to? [Q1095]

Thurgood Marshall

Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. [Q756]

Richard Ruhl

I saw a van with a bumper sticker saying "I am a vet, therefore I drive like an animal." Suddenly I realized how many proctologist there are on the roads [Q2095]

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